Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The evil Explorer 9 is released!

  Doesn't run on Windows XP, currently (as of March 2011) the most popular OS, and most successful ever Windows version. Any monopoly that leaves behind 50% of the market actually deserves to die.

  Removes features without giving users a choice. The "additions" are only to the rendering engine. The GUI only sees removals. 

  The download manager is such an abomination. Microsoft can't create a decent download manager now? Downloads get stuck at 99% or 100% forever "running security scan...". There's no way to opt out of the reputation-based downloading without also disabling the SmartScreen filter. Even after disabling SmartScreen, the downloads get stalled at 99%. Huge fail.

  Microsoft claims they have quieted down several notifications but many common tasks which required no action from the user earlier now show notifications which must be closed. For example, there are notificatins shown for download completion, clearing history and "speed up browsing by disabling addons". There is no way to completely turn off the notification bar. If they really want to reduce constant prompts, why can't they create a simple checkbox ("Do not show this notification again") for each notification? The IE9 release notes state: "The Notification bar appears on every page. Currently, a “popup was blocked” bar appears on every page on many sites. Since the bar overlays content on the page, you need to dismiss the bar on every page to read page content. WTF? How exactly is this better design? All user experience program managers should lose their job for designing the IE9 GUI disaster.

  Advertises address bar search as a new feature when it was available since at least IE6!!

  Tries to spin the notion that Tracking Protection and ActiveX Filtering are new features when they're just what IE8 had as InPrivate Filtering (not to be confused with InPrivate Browsing) and per-site ActiveX respectively.

  Forces ClearType on every user. IE team says IE9 respects the system settings however many users are reporting blurry text as all text in DirectWrite is rendered using ClearType.

  Has a totally unproductive non-customizable locked down user interface compared to previous IE releases (And no, being able to move tabs one row below does not equal "customizable")

  Discriminates between Windows Vista and Windows 7 as well by making certain features exclusive to Windows 7

  Feedback system (Connect) is a joke. With just 2 public releases before RTM, there is no point in the development cycle where enough changes can be made. So called "feedback" is only used to fix bugs, no design and GUI changes based on feedback.

  Does massive amounts of false and misleading marketing and gimmicky buzzwords leading many users to believe it is actually more standards compliant than other browsers

  Uses the extremely horrible Windows 7 servicing mechanism which is insanely slow and often fails or corrupts the Servicing Store (why would the full installer: 17 MB for x86 and 34 MB for x64 attempt to download again?) Uninstalling is a very sly process as like all normal applications, it doesn't appear in Programs and Features (Add or Remove) but instead in Installed Updates. Those who cannot find it in Programs and Features think the browser cannot be uninstalled. Nice way of forcibly shoving this shit down our throats Microsoft. One improvement in RTM is IE appears in the "Turn Windows features on or off" dialog. Now only if all users discover it there.

  Doesn't disclose all facts upfront and making them obvious such as the JavaScript (Chakra) interpreter being present only the 32-bit version

  Copies most of the GUI from Google Chrome

  Will spoil my Windows 8 experience by shipping with it without giving me an option to use IE8

1 comment:

Gérard Talbot said...

"Feedback system (Connect) is a joke."

A lot of people, including myself, have complained many times in emails and in IE blog about connect IE beta feedback, at least during the IE7 and IE8 development cycles: that is complaining during many years. Connect IE beta feedback was improved a bit but only after more than 18 months of persistent complaints. At the end, I wrote (about a month after the final release of IE8) to an IE software engineer that I would not submit bug reports anymore.

To my surprise, when the IE9 development cycle started, they made connect IE beta feedback require login: I asked at least 2 times in IE blog why they did this and never got a response. Adobe, Mozilla, W3C, WebKit, KDE, Canonical, Nokia, etc,etc, all have a public, accessible bug reporting systems which can be used to read, view and search bug reports withOUT requiring a login.

"false and misleading marketing and gimmicky buzzwords leading many users to believe it is actually more standards compliant than other browsers"

IE9 is, to my knowledge, a bit more compliant than latest stable Firefox release with regards to CSS 2.1 spec but by only 1.7% according to CSS 2.1 test suite. And even such 1.7% could be debatted as I found over 45 testcases which are invalid and about 200 more which require corrections. All my reports about those 45 invalid testcases and 200 others are public and viewable in lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-css-testsuite/ mailing list. No mistake possible here. And my emails were also +CC-ed to an IE test responsible.

As for HTML5 compliance, IE9 is not better than latest stable Firefox or webkit-based browsers. What is less known is that at least a few Microsoft submitted testcases for HTML5 test suite have been rejected by HTML5 test suite approving comittee while they are still listed at ietestcenter as testcases that other browsers fail. Some other testcases listed at IE test center under HTML5 category are invalid in my opinion but they have not been rejected by HTML5 test suite people.

Gérard Talbot